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Electronic recording for better patient compliance

Patient compliance is greater among clinical trial participants who use electronic diaries
Patient compliance is greater among clinical trial participants who use electronic diaries and the pharmaceutical industry should take advantage of this technology, according to new research by CRF.

The company says that patients are three times more likely to adhere to the conditions of a clinical trial when they use electronic rather than paper diaries.

CRF is a provider of electronic patient reported outcomes (ePROS) systems and recently conducted a survey of 30,000 participants involved in trials in 23 different therapeutic areas across 42 countries.

Pamela McNamara, CEO of CRF, explained that pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals involved in clinical trials are usually reluctant to adopt ePROs.

"Compliance levels and the degree of data accuracy that ePRO trials now bring means that big pharma cannot afford to ignore ePRO solutions without the risk of losing a competitive edge," she said.

"Paper-based data collection methods are rapidly becoming outdated and the industry, informed with research like this, is starting to realise this."

The company claims that popular misconceptions about older patients being confused by the technology have been called into question as findings of the research show that they were the most compliant, with a rate of 91.8 per cent. Children and adults had compliance rates of 90.9 per cent and 88.4 per cent respectively.

"The higher the accuracy of the patient data collected with tablet PCs, smartphones and PDAs means the cost of clinical trials can be driven down by reducing the numbers of patients needed," said McNamara.

Women were shown to be 13 per cent more compliant than male patients and people in India being monitored during drug testing earned a compliance level of 97.4 per cent.

11th June 2008

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